These Are the Three Dishes Giada De Laurentiis Is Making for a Simple Feast of the Seven Fishes This Year
The arrival of the holidays means plenty of occasions for big, glamorous meals you spend all day making—but it also means plenty of errands to keep you from being able to spend a full day in the kitchen. You've got gifts to wrap, cards to mail, ugly sweaters to buy. No one could blame you for wanting to scale things back a little bit.
Even the pros—including Giada De Laurentiis—might be tempted to take it easier this holiday season. Giada just shared her menu for Feast of the Seven Fishes, the Italian-American Christmas Eve celebration that traditionally includes seven seafood dishes, and the Food Network star has whittled this year's menu down to a tidy three dishes.
To start, Giada is whipping up a batch of her no-cook Italian Tuna Salad—no, not *that* kind of tuna salad. This light, refreshing starter gets lots of flavor from capers, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and parsley, which gets paired with cannellini beans and a mixture of lettuce and fennel for something bright and fresh to kick off your meal. The centerpiece is, of course, the jar of oil-packed tuna that makes the salad perfect for Christmas Eve celebrants. Choose a high-quality jarred tuna—Giada recommends Armatore bluefin tuna fillets on her website—to make sure your salad is as delicious as possible.
The second course brings a little coziness and comfort to this winter meal with a bowl of pasta. Giada's Arugula Pesto Pasta With Shrimp replaces the basil you'd typically find in pesto sauce with fresh arugula, which gives the dish a bright, peppery feel. You can even make the sauce in advance to take some of the responsibility off your plate. For this dish, Giada recommends grilling the shrimp, but you could just as easily sauté them or cook them in the air fryer if you don't have a grill (or just don't want to grill in the cold). You can also serve the pesto pasta cold or at room temperature, making it a delicious option for folks celebrating in warmer climates.
Giada's main course is simple and classic: a Lemon Sole Oreganata. This sheet-pan baked fish is covered in a light but flavorful breadcrumb topping that includes oregano, lemon zest and Parmigiano-Reggiano for spice, brightness and some nutty flavor. Like the other recipes in Giada's menu this year, the sole takes only 15 minutes to prepare, so you can join your friends and family for holiday fun rather than wait on a long, complicated dinner. Finish the meal off with a pretty dessert you can make ahead, like our Lemon-Raspberry Ricotta Pound Cake or Giada's own tiramisù for a meal that will make you the toast of the dinner table. Espresso lovers might even want to try Giada's Cinnamon Ginger Affogato for a cozy-cool way to end the meal.
If three seafood courses isn't enough for your group, you could always work in a family-favorite dish as well. Add a soup, like our Crab Bisque, to pair with your salad, or add some scallops to the menu on the fly with this garlicky 15-minute recipe. You could even add a make-ahead appetizer for folks to snack on while you put the finishing touches on everything in the kitchen—our Easy Scallion-Salmon Dip, which you can make the day before and refrigerate, is a perfect candidate.
With your seafood menu established and desserts on the brain, all that's left to do is grab some drinks and invite everyone over. Since Giada's menu only takes about 45 minutes total to prepare, you might just be in for your most stress-free Christmas Eve yet.